Saturday, December 4, 2021

Cameroon says workers reject COVID-19 vaccines

Cameroonian officials say fewer than 300 of the targeted 300,000 state workers have agreed to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in two weeks in a campaign. Some civil servants who spoke to the VOA have the mistaken belief that the virus is no longer a threat in Cameroon. But health officials say vaccination should go ahead in the central African state amid concerns about another wave of infections.

Several dozen people enter and exit Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms on Thursday morning. There is a new stand in the forecourt of the ministry where civil servants can get the COVID-19 vaccines free of cost.

Vaccination team member Roland Najalla said only 11 of the ministry’s expected 400 employees have voluntarily vaccinated in the past 10 days.

“People are not well informed and educated about what the vaccine is going to bring as a plus, as a benefit. People are scared, they do not know the side effects of the vaccine. I think this is the major problem,” he said.

Cameroon officially launched a month-long campaign to vaccinate at least half of its 600,000 active and retired government employees against COVID-19 on 10 November. Vaccinations began five days before the official launch.

The Ministry of Public Health says it has vaccinated just 300 of the 300,000 expected active and former state workers.

Public Services and Administrative Reforms Minister Joseph Lay said he was urging activists to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The aim of this campaign is to ensure that the professional environment is not a place where the virus spreads, but an environment suitable for professional development for all of us. We will continue to emphasize that vaccination is the only way to protect ourselves from the devastating effects of this terrible pandemic.”

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Cameroon announced last month that the COVID-19 delta variant was present in the country and the infection rate was increasing.

The health ministry is encouraging people to continue to get vaccinated and wear face masks, wash hands regularly and keep at least one meter away from each other.

Health Minister Manouda Malachi said people are reluctant to take the vaccine due to lack of awareness, exposure to rumors and misinformation spread mainly on social networks.

Manouda said that 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, whom many Cameroonians regard as their mentor, once called vaccination the most powerful of all preventive health measures. They say the COVID-19 vaccine saves lives and reduces the risk of the virus spreading and spreading.

The Cameroonian Bar Association said last month that some government officials were barring unvaccinated citizens from public offices.

Evaristas Morfo Nakafu, President of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association, said that no law compels public service users to provide vaccination cards.

“There are some authorities who have decided that those who have not been vaccinated will not enter their premises. This means that they are discriminating against the people of Cameroon. Instead of coercing, I think the government should educate the people. They should persuade and encourage people,” Nakafu said.

Nakafu said a campaign to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to those who are hesitant and provide important information on where they live.

The government denied that it was forcing people to get vaccinated.

It’s definitely encouraging jabs. Of the 12 million people targeted, only half a percent were fully vaccinated by October 30.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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